2ND LEAD (ADDS VIDEO FOOTAGE)

Tamil Nadu activists attack Indian Army trucks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 May 2009, 18:06 GMT]
Activists belonging to the pro-Tamil nationalist Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) attacked a convoy of military trucks of the Indian Army allegedly transporting weapons to Sri Lanka. Five trucks were damaged in the attack. Mortar shells were found in the trucks, sources in Chennai said.



According to informed sources, the vehicles at first entered Erode around 2:00 p.m. However, protests erupted there and it was subsequently solved by the intervention of the police. This information was conveyed to the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam organizers in Coimbatore.

The PDK cadres waited till 3:50 p.m. at Neelaampoor (Neelamboor) near Koayampuththoor (Coimbatore) when the convoy of vehicles came. Protestors threw stones on the military trucks damaging them. They emptied one of the trucks of its contents several packed boxes, including one containing mortar shells, could be seen. There was a subsequent scuffle between the Army personnel and the Tamil activists. The army resorted to lathi-charge in order to keep the activists away. Five activists, including PDK General Secretary Kovai Ramakrishnan were arrested by the police.

However, the Additional Director General of Police, for Law and Order, in a statement refuted the claim that the shipment in these lorries was meant to be supplied to the Sri Lanka Army. He maintained that the Army personnel were merely returning from a training programme in Hyderabad. The high-ranking police official also warned that stern action would be taken against those who indulge in false propaganda.

Political analysts in Chennai, who saw visuals and image grabs on private television channels refuse to buy into the police version. "If indeed the army lorries were returning after training in Hyderabad, what is the need for them to be carrying mortar shells with them? Is there a war going on in any part of India?" they asked.

 

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